BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A judge has imposed a 55-year prison sentence on a Maine man for the beating death of his 10-year-old stepdaughter, a horrifying crime that led to changes in the state welfare system.

Julio Carrillo and the child's mother are accused of beating Marissa Kennedy and trying to make her death look like an accident in February 2018 in Stockton Springs.

Carrillo sobbed and apologized, saying, "I am so sorry, Marissa," before being sentenced Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Carrillo pleaded guilty. His wife is awaiting trial.

The deaths of Marissa and another girl, 4-year-old Kendall Chick in December 2017, led to changes in Maine's child protective system.

The state boosted funding for caseworkers and changed how the state tackles investigations into alleged child abuse, among other things.

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